A Scout’s honor for restaurateur Tom Kershaw
Tom Kershaw, chairman of the Hampshire House Corp., grew up in a Scouting family in Philadelphia. His mother was a Girl Scout troop leader and den mother; his father a Boy Scout master.
Kershaw, the real-life owner of the Cheers bar franchise, got involved in the Boy Scouts when he was 8 years old and would later earn the organization’s highest achievement when he became an Eagle Scout.
On Thursday, Kershaw, now 78, will earn another badge of honor: the Thomas A. Kershaw Atrium & Scouting Heritage Display. The Greater Boston chapter, known as the Spirit of Adventure Council, has a $1.5 million campaign underway to upgrade its facilities, of which Kershaw contributed $100,000. To thank him, the council is renaming the lobby of its Milton Center in the Blue Hills Reservation.
Giving back to the Scouts is what Kershaw has been doing for more than three decades. Kershaw was busy running Hampshire House and the Bull and Finch Pub in Beacon Hill — the bar that inspired the NBC hit TV show “Cheers” — when super lawyer Larry DiCara wrote him a letter asking him to sponsor a Scout to go to camp. Kershaw insisted on sponsoring two.
That led to Kershaw serving on the board of the local council and hosting (at no charge) its annual banquet for two decades until it outgrew the private function room at the Hampshire House.
Kershaw will be bringing to Thursday’s event memorabilia from his time as a Scout, an experience he credits with giving him the leadership skills that shaped who he is today.
“It shows you how to have the discipline and determination to succeed,” Kershaw said, adding that the program also teaches kids how to “work towards something that is bigger than you.”
Kershaw built a hospitality empire that includes two Cheers bars and two restaurants, 75 Chestnut and 75 on Liberty Wharf. A third 75 is being planned at Seaport Square. (After the TV show’s success, he renamed the Bull and Finch to Cheers.)
The list of illustrious Eagle Scouts in Boston is long, including Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz, Analogic Corp. founder Bernard Gordon, MIT Lincoln Laboratory director Eric Evans, Bain Capital managing director Steve Barnes, WCVB-TV morning anchor Randy Price, former governor Michael Dukakis, former Tufts University president Lawrence Bacow, and former Dana-Farber Cancer Institute president Edward Benz. — SHIRLEY LEUNG
Legal’s fish bowl arrives
Roger Berkowitz is about to dip his toes into the fast-casual waters.
The Legal Sea Foods chief executive is starting construction this week at his Kendall Square restaurant to convert part of it into a quick-service location, to be called Legal Fish Bowl. Berkowitz hopes to use this as a launch pad for a new chain, one that will serve seafood bowls in the $10 to $15 range. There will be a menu of six different bowls, or customers can pick and choose their own ingredients.
Berkowitz said executives at his Boston-based company have been considering a fast-casual concept for the past three years, as a way to tap into growing demand from those who don’t want to wait for sit-down service, particularly at lunchtime. The first Legal Fish Bowl will open in the geographic heart of the Boston area’s high-tech economy, with workers streaming by every day on their way to employers such as Google, Biogen and Akamai.
He envisions future Legal Fish Bowls opening as standalone concepts, as long as the Kendall experiment goes as planned after the place opens in the spring.
“I want to make sure this one works and works really well,” he says. “Then I’ll start to look beyond.”
— JON CHESTO
An interim chief dives in at the aquarium
The New England Aquarium on Monday named an interim chief executive, who will take the reins of the waterfront tourist destination and conservation institute on April 1.
Maliz Beams, a longtime financial sector executive and a board member at the aquarium, will replace Nigella Hillgarth. Hillgarth announced her resignation in January, less than three years into the role.
Beams has been on the aquarium’s board since 2010. But her background is more rooted in finance than science. She is a former chief executive of retirement savings company Voya Financial, and has also held leadership positions with American Express and Citibank.
At the aquarium, Beams will lead an institution that has been a central player in development discussions in downtown Boston.
Aquarium officials have been locked in a tense debate over planned construction of the adjacent Boston Harbor Garage, where developer Don Chiofaro has proposed a skyscraper. Officials have called for the building to be smaller than originally proposed, voicing concerns that it could block waterfront access.
In January, Donna Hazard, the chair of the aquarium’s board, said the search for a permanent replacement for Hillgarth would involve a “national if not international” recruiting hunt.
— ADAM VACCARO
Nonprofits vs. Trump’s travel ban
Donald Trump’s revised travel ban takes effect Thursday — it blocks citizens of six (down from seven) predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States — but the revisions haven’t placated his opponents.
More than 440 so-called social entrepreneurs, including at least 25 nonprofit leaders from the Boston area, have signed an open letter to the president registering “unequivocal disagreement” with his order.
Spearheaded by the Skoll Foundation and published on Medium, the letter says that “diversity is the lifeblood of social, economic, and political progress” and requests that Trump “not deny us the right of welcoming people, regardless of their religion or nationality, to our shores.”
Among the Boston signers are: Molly Baldwin of Roca, Naila Bolus of Jumpstart, Gerald Chertavian of Year Up, Yolanda Coentro of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, Gregg Croteau of UTEC, Willy Foote of Root Capital, Wendy Foster of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Bob Giannino of uAspire, and Gary Gottlieb of Partners In Health.
Others on the list include Emily McCann of Citizen Schools, Cassie Scarano of Commongood Careers, Eric Schwarz of the College for Social Innovation, and Matt Segneri of HBS Social Enterprise Initiative.
— SACHA PFEIFFER